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How many news (RSS) feeds do you subscribe to in your RSS reader?

1/1: How many news (RSS) feeds do you subscribe to in your RSS reader?

None, I don't use/read RSS feeds 945 (25.61%)
1 to 24 1,362 (36.91%)
25 to 49 624 (16.91%)
50 to 74 250 (6.78%)
75 to 99 140 (3.79%)
100 to 124 135 (3.66%)
125 to 149 52 (1.41%)
150 to 174 35 (0.95%)
175 to 199 26 (0.70%)
200 to 224 26 (0.70%)
225 to 249 16 (0.43%)
250 to 274 17 (0.46%)
275 to 299 8 (0.22%)
300 to 324 11 (0.30%)
325 to 349 2 (0.05%)
350 to 374 3 (0.08%)
375 to 399 2 (0.05%)
400 or more 36 (0.98%)
Other polls | 3,690 votes | 25 comments

How many news (RSS) feeds do you subscribe to in your RSS reader? | 25 comments | Create New Account
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The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Frankly don't see the benefit
Authored by: jecwobble on Feb 03, '06 10:57:30AM

Browsing the actual website in the first place is most natural and effective to me. Why bother looking at another app/page for interesting things only to have to click and be directed to another app/page to read the details. Most sites provide easy to use summaries with links to details- MacUpdate, for instance.

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Frankly don't see the benefit
Authored by: stevec on Feb 03, '06 12:39:18PM

Agreed, the only places I have an rss feed to is places that I don't often go to UNLESS there is an update (Job sites, the BSG Blog, Wired, etc.) and it is all in Safari. Having yet another dedicated program to manage RSS feeds seems clumsy and unnecessary. I have Safari and Mail open at all times and as an RSS "reader" will open the full page in my web browser I don't see the point in having things like NetNewsWire and the like. But then my RSS needs are pretty simple, or if you prefer/disagree: simpleminded.

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Frankly don't see the benefit
Authored by: robg on Feb 03, '06 12:42:48PM

I shared your opinions for quite a while. Then the number of sites I wanted to keep up with outstripped my ability to visit those sites regularly.

All the good news readers now open the sites directly in the reader (many use WebKit to do so), so there's no jumping out to Safari unless you want to. The beauty of the RSS reader is that you can just glance at headlines quickly, instead of having to look through a full page or two of stuff that you have no interest in seeing :).


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Frankly don't see the benefit
Authored by: galaher on Feb 03, '06 01:38:17PM

Ironically I find that this 'time saver' (rss) has had the effect of making me more distracted. My answer is to look for sites that update less often with a higher (for me) interest ratio. I'm looking for a low noise ratio. The end result is that I love rss but I keep trying to reduce the number of feeds or replace feeds with sites that do the distilling for me.

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Frankly don't see the benefit
Authored by: sjmills on Feb 03, '06 06:57:42PM

After trying RSS for the first time when Safari offered it, I used it for a while. But then I realized that I always go read the complete articles any way, so it didn't save any time in loading the site, because I had to wait for the RSS, then wait again for the site, so I was using more bandwidth. Plus, I like lookin' at the pictures on the sites I frequent (Jalopnik, Gizmodo, etc).

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Frankly don't see the benefit
Authored by: xSmurf on Feb 04, '06 09:19:55AM

I couldn't agree less. As soon as you visit a few dozen sites a day you'll realize that you're not reading every single article posted on that site. Browsing by headlines for articles that interest you is really the way to go if you don't wanna spend the day reading daily news.

PM G4 DP 800 / 1.25gb / 120Gb+80Gb / CD/DVD±RW/RAM/DL
- The only APP Smurf

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Safari's RSS stinks
Authored by: jocknerd on Feb 05, '06 02:59:19PM

If thats all you used, then I understand why you don't use RSS. Try Firefox.
It allows you to link to the RSS feeds and browse the headlines in your links without having to open a page to view them.

OS X 10.4
Apple Styling, Unix Power

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Safari's RSS stinks
Authored by: digs0 on Feb 07, '06 08:19:06AM

I agree -- Firefox's implementation of RSS is much more useful than Safari's. I use it on my Wintel machine at work. Since I prefer Safari at home, I basically never use RSS. I'm not really sure how going to a web page of less informative links for a site like this is more useful than the default mode, which contains more information before the jump. RSS would have meant a lot more 10 years ago with slower connections, but with broadband, it's irrelevant to me.


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Authored by: boredzo on Feb 03, '06 12:43:51PM

the set of answers is rather non-informative, in my opinion. I have 24 feeds, but this poll puts me in the same group as the one-feed people. doesn't seem like you learn that much from such a poll.

my suggestion (though it may be too late now) is to break up the smaller answers, and consolidate the larger ones into ‘More than 150’ or ‘More than 100’.

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Authored by: robg on Feb 03, '06 01:11:31PM

I have done that in the past, but then I received complaints that the results weren't equally-sized buckets. Either way, it seems, I lose :).

I went with equal buckets just to make the results comparable. I could have used smaller buckets, but there's a limit on poll length, so the max would have dropped notably.

I tried for a balance between bucket size and max feeds, as I know there are a lot of heavily-subscribed users out there.


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Authored by: nanotechmama on Feb 03, '06 04:32:44PM

What do you do for people that are subscribed to many feeds only because Safari comes with so many? That's how I got mine. RSS feeds I've actually subscribed to myself total only three though. Maybe you weren't concerned with that level of detail.


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Polling isn't easy and requires careful consideration
Authored by: on Feb 04, '06 03:08:22PM

I guess we are gaining a better appreciate for people who have to do this kind of thing full time. That's a good thing because it makes us all think of how we gather and use information in our lives on a daily basis.

There are several considerations in polling. The first is the distribution that you are dealing with. Most of the answers to the poll is considered attribute or countable data (1,2,3, etc...) which means that it is highly unlikely that you will ever have a normally distributed population. This type of data is generally skewed most of the time. So the interval should be selected based on the distribution, however, this is difficult to do since the distribution changes as more people vote. Perhaps the thing to do is to readjust the intervals at various times in the polling to better reflect the results of the voters. Of course, you don't have this capability now, but if you are going to continue to poll, you might want to think about this for the future.

The second consideration is sample size. How many people on average take your polls? I noticed that you have performed a lot of polls so you have some idea of the average number of people that will take a poll at any given time. Based on this information and the predicted distribution, it is easier to estimate intervals and provide better results from polling. With an average number of voters over 1000 and using countable data, you really need finer intervals or you need to readjust the intervals at various points in the polling.

For example, it is clear that values above 200 really don't matter. This means that you can break down the intervals from 0 to 200 in the following way.

0 - special case
1-13, 14-26,27-39,40-52,53-65,66-78,79-91, 92-104, 105-117, 118-130, .... 196-208,
> 208 - this is where it starts to not matter much.

Unfortunately, the way the polling is set up on this site and the limitations of the software, you are unable to do what I am recommending. You might want to consider the way in which your statistics are gathered. One idea would be to let people put in actual values and let the software bin the results based off actual values, particularly if the data is countable or continuous.

The third consideration is the questions being asked. From what I see in terms of how the binning works on this site, questions that are categorical will yield better results than questions that involve countable data. In other words, the voting and statistics are more favorable for categorical responses such as {yes, no} or {imac, ibook, powerbook, emac, mini, etc...}.

So yes, you can please most people if the response is categorical, you are less likely to please if the data is countable. You will please no one if the data is continuous such as the number of seconds a browsers loads to the nearest 100th of a second.



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Polling isn't easy and requires careful consideration
Authored by: robg on Feb 05, '06 03:06:25PM


Mostly the polls here are just fun things that ask questions I think might be interesting. That's the sum amount of science that goes into it :).

I agree with your analysis, though, if we were going to get more serious about polling. I have prepared a few polls for Macworld in the past, and we used a complete standalone polling app, which is much better suited to the task than the simple "only multiple choice" polling feature built into Geeklog.


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Bloglines for RSS
Authored by: tjnugent on Feb 03, '06 01:08:53PM

I use Bloglines to subscribe to sites I do not visit every day. It allows me to catch up on blogs from any web browser, so I don't have to be at my home machine (even though that's generally where I do read blogs). Bloglines doesn't format things the way they are in the real site, but if I want to see that, I can just click the link.

For your next poll, Rob, you might want to ask RSS readers which client they use.

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Bloglines for RSS
Authored by: robg on Feb 03, '06 01:14:08PM

We did, in March 2005 :). I may run it again in March, for a one-year-later view.


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RSS takes browsing back to origin
Authored by: carstenlegaard on Feb 03, '06 04:41:00PM

As I use the built-in RSS-abilities in my prefered browsers (Safari and Firefox) I think I get the best from both worlds. That is why I overcome to have a look over up to fifty prefered websites almost every day.
The benefit in RSS-reading is that you get a very fast view over the lastest contributes. Very often you stumble over news that you have to go to the actual website to read more about, and there you are - getting the best from both levels.

Carsten Legaard

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Cannot Live Without Safari's RSS
Authored by: bedouin on Feb 03, '06 09:24:59PM

Honestly. Since Safari 2.0 came out I've been a huge fan of its RSS integration. The key to really getting the most out of Safari's RSS is to just make one bookmark folder in your bookmark bar for all your favorite RSS feeds. You get an update of how many new articles are available and can check them all out just by clicking "view all RSS articles."

Other things that help:

* Sort your articles by new
* Color new articles with a nice color (orange works)
* Check for updates in reasonable intervals depending on how long you're in front of the machine
* Open your new RSS feeds in one tab and middle / command click all articles into new tabs

Unfortunately the average person toying with RSS will never go through all this trouble. For me though, it's invaluable. Instead of visiting 25 sites a day wading through trash I get a one page summary and decide if I even want to read further. 3 or 4 hours of browsing gets compressed into 45 minutes to an hour.

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Cannot Live Without Safari's RSS
Authored by: starwxrwx on Feb 03, '06 11:23:36PM

I do the same as you and use Safari RSS with a bookmark bar folder (though I read each feed by itself). I now get ALL the news from about 20 sites while I'm enjoying my morning coffee. Many sites also look better in RSS!

The .Mac sync also updates what I've read at work so when I get home I don't have to read them all again to find the new stuff. I'm addicted!

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> 400 feeds?
Authored by: moritzh on Feb 04, '06 07:38:31AM

How in the world does one manage to subscribe to > 400 feeds (and actually read them, else why would you subscribe to them anyway?)? I'm impressed...

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> 400 feeds?
Authored by: seanhussey on Feb 04, '06 08:41:48AM

I'm not in the 400+ feed category, but I can see how it could happen. A lot of my feeds are for things on Sourceforge or Rubyforge. I want to know when a particular package is updated, but the updates are not frequent.

When you get past the news and blog aspect of RSS, I think that's where it can be really useful. Instead of visiting sites of bands I like or, god forbid, signing up for Ticketmaster's spam, I'd love to subscrbe to a tour feed for that band. When they go on tour, I'll find out. No time waste din reloading the site and no time wasted pouring through a noisy mailing list subscription.

I think the problem with RSS right now is that there aren't enough focussed feeds. For instance, we have feds set up that are related to code builds on our projects. If I want my RSS feed to update only when a particular project fails tests or fails to build, that's easy to set up and I don't have to actively monitor it.

Blog sites that have separate feeds for the comments on partcular blogs are huge, I think. I hate having to go back to a site, find the blog post again, and reload the page just to see if anyone has posted a new comment. What a waste! Just tell me when it's updated through the RSS feed.

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comment feeds
Authored by: sjk on Feb 06, '06 11:30:06AM
I hate having to go back to a site, find the blog post again, and reload the page just to see if anyone has posted a new comment.

Me, too.

I've often wished this site had comment feeds (and/or e-mail notification). That would be a huge time-saver for discovering new comments for hints I'm interested in following, especially when they show up weeks or months apart.

Any possibility of adding comment feeds here, Rob?

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Amount of feeds
Authored by: Zoltak on Feb 04, '06 10:55:08PM

I subscribe to 77 text and picture feeds in Netnewswire Lite, fastest way to see and choose the information I wish to read.

I also subscribe to another 25 or so podcasts/vidcasts in iTunes.

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About 50, maybe?
Authored by: lpangelrob on Feb 06, '06 06:38:45AM

I put 25-49, but it depends... is each link a "news" link, or just the ones I've subscribed to as "news"? Ah well.

Some people say they get distracted... I can see that happening... but I'm here at work on a Windows box and use Sage on Firefox. I check everything once in the morning, and then it goes away for the day until I'm really bored.

To me, that's the way RSS should work.

-Robert Guico

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I find RSS annoying
Authored by: paulsomm on Feb 06, '06 10:15:18AM

Most sites only RSS the headline and a blurb, not the whole article, and most RSS readers feel like clumsy email- or usenet-wannabes. I find RSS useful in situations like GMail's clipping above the messages, and perhaps for tracking security alerts from CERT, but for blogs and news sites I visit the sites directly.

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Authored by: dave1212 on Feb 09, '06 12:19:34AM

I visit this site and a few others in Safari or Opera daily. It's not in my feeds list for this reason.

My Vienna (decent free RSS reader) feed list is at about 100 sites, and I find it very handy to find out what's new with some blogs, etc. since I would prefer not to spend all my time checking for updates.

I set everything to update manually anyway, usually checking every two or three days.

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